Earlier this year BYU fans across the globe helped win $100,000 for BYU’s Simmons Center for Cancer Research by voting BYU Basketball Head Coach Dave Rose to the top in the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge.
This week the Simmons Center announced that the prize-winning money has enabled them to create an endowment that will fund cancer research fellowships in perpetuity. The David and Cheryl Rose Family Student Cancer Research Endowment will provide student wages and fellowships to BYU undergraduate and graduate students conducting cancer research within the SCCR organization.
“Having this endowment named for our family is a tremendous honor that will continue motivating us to do all we can to support the inspired mission of the Simmons Center,” said Cheryl Rose, whose four sisters have all had cancer, and one sister, Janet, passed away from breast cancer. “This is very personal to us.”
Added Coach Rose, himself a survivor of pancreatic cancer: “We will do all we can to respect it and honor it the best we can.”
The Simmons Center, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, supports and facilitates foundational discovery research leading to the development of more effective methods to prevent, diagnose, treat, and ultimately cure cancer. There center has allocated $2.2 million to fund 349 students over the past two decades, resulting in 225 research papers published by students and faculty across four BYU colleges.
One of the few centers nationwide that offer funding opportunities for undergraduates, the Simmons Center awarded 24 Summer Research Fellowships in 2018. Six of those summer fellows did work at highly respected institutions, including the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University and The National Institutes of Health.
The center is named after recently retired BYU professor of chemistry and biochemistry Daniel Simmons, who discovered COX-2, the enzyme responsible for causing pain and inflammation. Simmons’ discovery spurred the creation of COX-2 inhibitors that changed the world of painkillers.
Simmons was on hand at an event this month where the Rose Family Endowment was announced.
“These important funds are going to work in perpetuity to do great things, both in the world of science, but as importantly, in the lives of individuals,” he said. “That’s what the center is all about; it’s about empowering students, empowering faculty members and empowering this great university to make a contribution in this very important area of cancer.
For those interested in making a donation to the Simmons Center through LDS Philanthropies or sponsoring a cancer research fellow, click here: https://cancerresearch.byu.edu/?page_id=301